We’re Herbie’s Homemade, a family run food business based in Manchester. We produce fermented pantry staples and all natural, great tasting alternatives to dairy.
Fermentation is at the heart of everything we do. Fermentation makes food taste incredible. It makes it easier to digest and for your body to extract the nutrients it needs. And it’s great for your overall health and wellbeing.
When our founder (Herbie’s mum, Nicola) decided to give up dairy, the one ingredient she struggled without was butter. She couldn’t find anything to come close to the taste of real butter in risotto or melted on hot crumpets. Fed up with processed, unhealthy margarines with a plastic after-taste, she set about making her own dairy free alternative.
Pretty soon she realised that many of the everyday foods we eat are fermented and that’s what gives them their unique flavours. Whether it’s butter or coffee; sriracha, ketchup or chocolate; wine or even meats like salami (and many more besides), fermentation flavours so many everyday foods.
Unpasteurised fermented foods including some cheeses and yoghurt, sauerkraut and kimchi have well researched health benefits as well. Nicola began to look for ways to ferment not only a butter alternative, but vegan friendly cheese as well. And if the phrase vegan cheese sends tiny spears of dread through your taste buds, we understand completely.
As with margarine, Nicola found that the most widely available alternatives to dairy cheese weren’t really appealing, with rubbery texture and artificial cheese flavouring. She tried some handmade artisan cheeses (which were much, much better), but they all seemed to be made from nuts. Nuts are delicious but many people have nut allergies and so Nicola wanted to create an alternative.
The result, after years of trial (and error – we learn best from our mistakes) and consulting with real dairy cheese makers, was the sourpress. Souring is the first step in dairy cheese making. The milk is soured to create curds. We use a similar process, souring our ingredients before salting and pressing them into cheese moulds. Souring and pressing. The dairy free sourpress was born.
Slow Food Supporter